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Five Surprising Facts About ‘House Hunters’

I’m sure you’ve watched House Hunters – or one of those other real estate shows – and wondered what really goes on. How can those couples afford such massive budgets? How many people in the real world are that specific about what they want? What about those epic days of riding around with a real estate agent?

The truth is that the production of these shows is a lot different from the finished product. What you see on screen is far from reality. Reddit user Kirstin Stone, who lives in the Memphis area, pulled back the curtain in a recent reddit AMA session. Based on what Stone had to share, here are five surprising things about House Hunters.

5. The Producers inflate the budgets

We’ve all seen the memes and Twitter jokes:

Husband: I’m a freelance hamster trainer.

Wife: And I tune harmonicas part-time.

Husband: Our budget is $950,000.

You can’t help but wonder how people can afford such a lavish housing budget. Let’s face it: part of the reason for the high budgets is that housing is much more expensive in some of the places the show films than people in the rest of the country can fathom (I see you, California). But it’s also because the producers inflate the budgets. Stone revealed how they took the budget she came up with and added nearly $50,000 to it:

They mostly made up my budget: I wanted to spend no more than 130k, they used my max qualification (165), and tacked on 15k I had in savings as “renovation budget.”

But even a jaded former participant like Stone has seen budgets that blow her mind in her hometown:

I’m in the Memphis area, and they just shot one here with an 800k budget. No one needs 800k to buy here. Not even for obscenely nice houses.

What we wind up seeing is the result of a little television magic: take a reasonable budget, fudge the numbers a bit for drama, and voila – a House Hunters budget!

4. The clients come across as demanding and unlikable for a reason

Not only do the budgets seem unreasonable to the typical viewer, but the clients themselves often seem overly demanding or specific as well. The reason for that is that the producers prep clients by giving them lists of architectural styles and prompting them to cater their requests around certain styles. Stone said:

They give you a document with descriptions and photos of styles, so you can be "strongly opinionated" about them. In my case, my friend wanted me to have a craftsman (good luck in West Tennessee/North Mississippi), and I wanted a brick farmhouse.